Mosaic Mandala of Newtown Wellington New Zealand


Created with clients of Alpha Gallery and studio and Idea Youth. Abel Smith Street January – March 2017
Alpha Gallery and studio is is an exciting accessible gallery space situated in the heart of Wellington’s creative district on vibrant Cuba St. It serves as the commercial face of Alpha Art Studio, an art studio and vocational space for adults with intellectual disabilities.

Alpha Gallery and studio mandala making

Alpha Gallery and studio mandala making
It was important to keep the mosaic simple in its design and application. Clients who attend Alpha studios have a wide range of abilities, and we were limited to what could be achievable in the given time frame. I came up with the idea of creating a simple but effective mosaic mandala for the space next to the library behind two bike rails.

Alpha's manager and myself starting installation

Alpha’s manager and myself starting installation

Staff and clients from Alpha helping out

Staff and clients from Alpha helping out

The clients at Alpha Studio are a passionate creative bunch. Even though their disabilities are wide it did not stop their enthusiasm to get involved every step of the way

Clients from Alpha getting stuck in

Clients from Alpha getting stuck in

Staff and Clients from Alpha with the finished Mandala

Staff and Clients from Alpha with the finished Mandala

Mandala is sanskrit for ‘circle’ which is a universal symbol for wholeness and unity. A mandala has been known to be used as a creative tool to reflect on one’s personal centre.  In this case we applied the same concept to ‘centre’ and focus the energy of the group working and creating closely together.

detail of ceramic tiled Mosaic mandala

detail of ceramic tiled Mosaic mandala
 
Examples of mandalas can be found in all ancient cultures. The fact that Newtown is the most multicultural community in Wellington City is significant – a ‘cultural mosaic’ of diverse ethnicities and languages.  Within this mandala are snippets of colour and pattern echoed in relation to the patterns found in textiles, architectural features and natural forms all within Newtown’s culturally diverse and vibrant streets.


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